YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The Armenian National Congress held a rally Tuesday to mark the March 1, 2008 post-presidential election unrest and its leader, former president Levon Ter-Petrosian, used the gathering to make the odd proclamation that his group’s gatherings would become a forum for self-government.
“From this day forth, the rallies of the Armenian National Congress go from being political actions to a unique forum for social self-government with the full-fledged competency to make decisions and act,” said Ter-Petrosian, who presented a 15-point demand to government, the first of which called for the release of all those imprisoned in connection with the 2008 post-election unrest.
Among the list of prisoners is Mourad Bouloudjian, who has been indicted on charges of espionage and cooperation with Turkey.
Police estimates place the number of demonstrators at 9,000 to 10,000, while Ter-Petrosian-supporter Davit Shahnazarian estimated that between 50,000 to 60,000 participated in the Tuesday rally.
Also present at the protest was chairman of the Heritage Party Raffi Hovannisian and parliament members Larisa Alaverdyan and Anahit Bashkhyan.
The protest began in front of the Madenataran building and proceeded to Miasnikian Square, the site of the most violent clashes between government and opposition forces on March 1, 2008.